Saturday 21st October 2023.                                  Southern League, Premier Division South.

Walton & Hersham 1    Beaconsfield Town 0.

Swans’ supporters saw their team pull off yet another last-ditch result as Anis Nuur drove in a 90th minute winner, the goal putting an end to the visitors’ five match winning run. This came after it looked as if the possibility of a win had come and gone when Alex Kelly had Swans ‘ best chance of the match saved with seven minutes of normal-time remaining. Clear chances had been few and far between against a Rams’ side that had put on a well-disciplined performance, sticking to a rigid game plan that saw players retreating behind the ball and soaking up pressure.

Kelly had come on for the second-half to make just his second appearance of the season in a Swans’ shirt, having been suffering from a persistent Achilles problem. Harry Mills was also able to return to the starting line-up, having missed the match at Tiverton through injury.

Straight from the kick-off John Gilbert was fouled 35 yards out on the right, and he tried to catch Beaconsfield goalkeeper Matt Rowley out by driving in the free-kick quickly, but Rowley was able to get across and claim the ball. Rowley was then almost caught out by his own player when Mitchal Gough sent a diagonal ball from deep on the right to try to pick out Sam Tutt on the left. Dan Bradshaw was on the edge of the box to head back to Rowley, but the keeper could only watch the ball pass just wide of the far-post, with Eddie Simon just failing to turn it in.

Swans had to head away at the far-post when the visitors crossed from the left, but Simon was soon forcing a defender to clear behind for a corner on the left. Gilbert then got in a great cross from right that Rowley just prevented from reaching the head of Trae Cook-Appiah. A move started by Joe Hicks on the left led to Tutt getting into the box to have successive shots blocked, Nuur then sending a shot wide of the left post as the ball came out to him.

Beaconsfield won a free-kick deep on the right, and when James Dobson delivered the ball in Swans struggled to clear, but Stan Flaherty was finally able to send Cook-Appiah away on a run before he was closed out. Gough’s fine ball found Flaherty on the right, and his low ball in was cleared over the goal for a corner.

The visitors had already made attempts to catch Swans on the break, Sam Granville ending one move by shooting well over from the edge of the box, when they went close just past the half hour. A move started in their own half led to Jonathan Hippolyte getting down the left, and when he played the ball inside, Jacob Gardiner-Smith was on the edge of the box to drive in a low shot that took a slight deflection off Nuur to go just wide of the left post. From the corner a glancing header went across goal and wide.

Simon almost got in on the left for Swans, forcing a corner, before the Rams had their best chance of taking the lead. A patient build-up led to Bradshaw crossing the ball from the right touchline into the 6 yard-box for Hippolyte to have a clear header, but he put it straight at home keeper Tyla Dickinson.

Swans made a tactical change for the second-half, with Kelly coming on for Tutt.

Beaconsfield had another opportunity soon after the resumption when the ball was pumped down the middle, and Hippolyte was allowed to turn in the left of the box, but he shot wide of the near-post.

Jake Frailing almost got Cook-Appiah in on goal for Swans, but Rowley was quickly out to clear, before Mills sent Simon away on the left. Simon got past Jacques Kpohomouh and to the byline before driving the ball low across, and it took a deflection off Luke Neville at the near-post to go across the goal-face and just wide for a corner. From Flaherty’s right-side kick Mills was by the penalty-spot to get in a volley that was blocked, and when the ball came back to him he shot well over. With an hour played Gilbert was fouled on the right bylne just outside the box, giving Swans a free-kick in a great position. From Flaherty’s kick Rowley just tipped the ball off the head of Gough, and Hicks was on the left to drive a left foot shot just wide of the near-post and into the side-netting. Swans continued to probe for openings, and Rowley again had to be out to deny Cook-Appiah, who had been played through by a ball down the middle. Simon and Mills combined on the left for Simon to get to the byline and send the ball across the goal-face. Mills’ excellent pass sent Cook-Appiah driving past Asher Yearwood on the left to play the ball low across the 6 yard-box for Flaherty to come in on the right and strike a fine chance over. With twenty minutes remaining Swans broke up a visitors’ attack and Cook-Appiah was sent bursting clear before being cynically brought down by Neville, who was shown a yellow card. Flaherty then cut in from wide on the right to send a low, left foot shot wide of the far-post.

Beaconsfield posed a rare threat when Yearwood got in a shot from the edge of the box, but Dickinson was well-placed on his line.

Gilbert made a great run on the left for Swans, but his cross was just too high for Cook-Appiah in front of goal.

With seven minutes of normal-time remaining Swans had their best chance of the match. Gough laid the ball through to Kelly, who played a quick one–two with Gilbert on the edge of the box to get clear to the penalty-spot, but keeper Rowley came out to block.

With the final minute of normal-time being played Mills found Kelly by the centre-circle, and he clipped the ball forward to the edge of the box. Rowley came rashly out to try to deny Gilbert and Simon, bit he only made slight contact with the ball and it ran to Nuur on the right edge, and he struck a first-time shot low into the far corner to win the game for Swans.

Things could, and should, have got worse for The Rams’ keeper in stoppage-time when Simon was played clear into the box. Rowley clearly pulled the Swans’ striker down, but escaped both facing a penalty and a red card as the referee saw no offence.

Swans’ Team: Tyla Dickinson, Harry Mills, Sam Tutt (Alex Kelly 46’), Jake Frailing, Mitchal Gough, Joe Hicks, Stan Flaherty (Joe Pratley-Jones 90+1’), Anis Nuur, Eddie Simon, John Gilbert, Trae Cook-Appiah (Stefan Ilic 82’). Subs. not used: Arsen Ujkaj, Olly Allen. Scorer: Nuur (90’). Caution: Gilbert, foul (49’).

Beaconsfield Town Team: Rowley, Neville, Kpohomouh, Bradshaw (Noguera 89’), Yearwood, Dobson, Hippolyte, Gardiner-Smith, Morrison, Granville, Payne (Louis 90+1’), Subs. not used: Togwell, Van Aurich, Dymott. Caution: Neville, foul (69’).